William Butler Yeats was an Irish poet and playwright, and one of the foremost An Anglo-Irishman, William Butler Yeats was born in Sandymount, County. Collected Poems. William Butler Yeats. This web edition published by [email protected] Adelaide. Last updated Wednesday, December 17, at To the best of . William Butler Yeats is considered one of the finest poets of the English language . Already an important poet in his twenties, he changed his style as he matured.
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The Anglo-Irish poet W. B. Yeats is one of the foremost figures of 20th- century. William Butler Yeats was born in the Sandymount section of Dublin, Ireland. William Butler Yeats. William Butler Yeats is one of the greatest poets in the English literature of his period, and is the connecting link between the nineteenth . When Olivia Shakespear introduced her ex-lover, W.B. Yeats, to her niece-by- marriage, Georgie, in London in she knew he was looking for a young wife .
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere. The best lack all conviction, while the worst. The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out.
When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi. Troubles my sight: A shape with lion body and the head of a man,. Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it.
Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds. The darkness drops again; but now I know. Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,.
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,.
The Collected Poems of W. If she had children, even only one boy, she would be taken care of financially for the rest of her life. Georgie was attractive, well off and well brought up, with a cut-glass English accent. Her social manners were polished and she had worked for the Red Cross. Ezra Pound had just become her brother-in—law by marrying Dorothy Shakespear, now that his year-long affair with Iseult Gonne was over. There seemed to be no need for hesitation. Yeats and Georgie were married in haste; there was no need to invite guests to Harrow Road Registry Office at He did it reluctantly, unwilling to give up his bachelor life as a free spirit, renowned poet and professional charmer.
Georgie married him because she idolised him. She was curious about sex; though not enamoured of children, she was capable doing what was necessary. Like Georgie, Yeats had lived at many addresses as a youngster and his family had constantly moved on, because of poverty rather than alcoholism, so he shared her craving for stability and putting a gloss over failures.
He had developed masks to obscure his own feelings, either theatrical with the Abbey Theatre or poetry recitals, or astrological with the Golden Dawn. He was used to expressing his feelings with honesty and tact.
The marriage was harmonious in most respects, but not sexually. At this time he also wrote ten plays, and the simple, direct style of dialogue required for the stage became an important consideration in his poems as well. He abandoned the heavily elaborated style of The Wind among the Reeds in favor of conversational rhythms and radically simpler diction.
This transformation in his poetic style can be traced in his first three collections of the 20th century: In the Seven Woods , The Green Helmet and Other Poems , and Responsibilities Several poems in those collections use style as their subject.
Simplification was only the first of several major stylistic changes. In "Yeats as an Example? These plays were described by Yeats as "plays for dancers.
Maud Gonne, with whom he had shared his Irish enthusiasms, had moved to Paris with her husband, exiled Irish revolutionary John MacBride, and the author was left without her important encouragement. But in he once again became a staunch exponent of the nationalist cause, inspired by the Easter Rising, an unsuccessful, six-day armed rebellion of Irish republicans against the British in Dublin. MacBride, who was now separated from Gonne, participated in the rebellion and was executed afterward.
Yeats reacted by writing " Easter, ," an eloquent expression of his complex feelings of shock, romantic admiration, and a more realistic appraisal.
The Easter Rising contributed to Yeats's eventual decision to reside in Ireland rather than England, and his marriage to Georgie Hyde-Lees in further strengthened that resolve. With marriage came another period of exploration into complex and esoteric subjects for Yeats. He had long been fascinated by the contrast between a person's internal and external selves—between the true person and those aspects that the person chooses to present as a representation of the self.
Yeats had first mentioned the value of masks in in a simple poem, "The Mask," where a woman reminds her lover that his interest in her depends on her guise and not on her hidden, inner self. Yeats gave eloquent expression to this idea of the mask in a group of essays, Per Amica Silentia Lunae : "I think all happiness depends on the energy to assume the mask of some other life, on a re-birth as something not one's self.
Yeats also continued to explore mysticism.
Only four days after the wedding, his bride began what would be a lengthy experiment with the psychic phenomenon called automatic writing, in which her hand and pen presumably served as unconscious instruments for the spirit world to send information.
Yeats and his wife held more than four hundred sessions of automatic writing, producing nearly four thousand pages that Yeats avidly and patiently studied and organized.
From these sessions Yeats formulated theories about life and history. He believed that certain patterns existed, the most important being what he called gyres, interpenetrating cones representing mixtures of opposites of both a personal and historical nature. He contended that gyres were initiated by the divine impregnation of a mortal woman—first, the rape of Leda by Zeus; later, the immaculate conception of Mary.
Yeats found that within each year era, emblematic moments occurred at the midpoints of the year halves. At these moments of balance, he believed, a civilization could achieve special excellence, and Yeats cited as examples the splendor of Athens at B.
Yeats further likened these historical cycles to the 28 day lunar cycle, contending that physical existence grows steadily until it reaches a maximum at the full moon phase fifteen , which Yeats described as perfect beauty.
In the remaining half of the cycle, physical existence gradually falls away, until it disappears completely at the new moon, whereupon the cycle begins again. Applying this pattern both to historical eras and to individuals' lives, Yeats observed that a person completes the phases as he advances from birth to maturity and declines toward death.
Yeats further elaborated the scheme by assigning particular phases to specific types of personality, so that although each person passes through phases two through 14 and 16 through 28 during a lifetime, one phase provides an overall characterization of the individual's entire life.
Yeats published his intricate and not completely systematic theories of personality and history in A Vision ; substantially revised in , and some of the symbolic patterns gyres, moon phases with which he organized these theories provide important background to many of the poems and plays he wrote during the second half of his career.
During these years of Yeats's esoterica Ireland was rife with internal strife. In bitter controversies erupted within the new Irish Free State over the partition of Northern Ireland and over the wording of a formal oath of allegiance to the British Crown. These issues led to an Irish civil war, which lasted from June , to May